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car·a·velor car·a·velle (kăr′ə-vĕl′) also car·vel (kär′vəl, -vĕl′)
Any of several types of small, light sailing ships, especially one with two to four masts and lateen sails used by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 1400s and 1500s.
[French caravelle, from Old French, from Old Portuguese caravela, diminutive of cáravo, ship, from Late Latin cārabus, a small wicker boat, from Late Greek kārabos, light ship, from Greek, horned beetle.]
(Nautical Terms) a two- or three-masted sailing ship, esp one with a broad beam, high poop deck, and lateen rig that was used by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 15th and 16th centuries
[C16: from Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo ship, ultimately from Greek karabos crab, horned beetle]
a small Spanish or Portuguese sailing vessel of the Middle Ages and later, usu. lateen-rigged on two or three masts.
[1520–30; < Middle French car(a)velle < Portuguese caravela]